Current Newsletter


Options for reading The Searchlight, our monthly newsletter:

  • Read it in the body of the email announcing availability of the current issue
  • Read it below on this web page
  • View/print the PDF version – Download Page  •  Direct Link to PDF
  • Get a printed copy in the mail (available only by special request to the Church Administrator)

June 2018 Searchlight

To read the June 2018 Searchlight on this page, scroll down or click the links below to see specific articles:

“Down by the Riverside” Worship and Potluck – Sunday, June 3

Sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Team
At Katfish Katy’s on the Missouri River at Huntsdale
Worship Service – 10 a.m. • Potluck Brunch – 11 a.m.

Click map to enlarge

Come enjoy our annual get-together at Katfish Katy’s Campground on the Missouri River – a chance to enjoy the company of our church members and friends in a beautiful spot on the banks of the river.

Linda Lou and Robert Brown no longer own Katfish Katy’s, but the new owner has given us permission to use our usual site again this year. However, we will only be there on Sunday, not on Saturday.

There will be a portable toilet and picnic tables, but we will have to bring everything else. Please bring food and drinks for the potluck and folding chairs if you want them (we will have some benches). Also bring your own plates, cups and utensils. We will mainly be under the trees, like last year, but a sunhat might be a good idea.

If you have questions, email Peter Holmes or Patty Daus.

How to Enter Katfish Katy’s

There are now locked gates limiting access to Katfish Katy’s Campground. Here is how to enter into and exit from the campground on June 3:

When you drive through Huntsdale on Route O and approach the campground, you will see a metal gate directly in front of you that leads to the Station House Restaurant. Do not try to go through this gate.

Instead, follow the road to the left (south) and enter by the next gate that leads to the boat ramp. Someone will be waiting between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at that next gate to let you in with a key card. Plan to arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. – this means leaving Columbia by 9:15 a.m. at the latest.

If you arrive later than 10 a.m. and there is no one at the gate, call Patty Daus at 573-529-9691 or Peter Holmes at 573-239-7789.

After going through the gate at the road, drive toward the boat ramp area. You will encounter a second gate that opens automatically for vehicles. After going through this second gate, proceed to the boat ramp area and then follow the road to the right until you reach the point where a road to the left goes over the levee and leads to the picnic/camping area where we will gather.

While the gate at the road requires a key card to enter the campground, it opens automatically for vehicles to exit.

Special Instructions for Cyclists: If you are cycling on the Katy Trail, you will already be inside the gate from the road. You will encounter the gate leading to the boat ramp that opens automatically for vehicles, but it will not open for a bicycle. If no one is there with a key card to open this gate for you, there is a space where you can go around the fence on the left side of the gate.

Back to Contents

June Worship Services

Sunday, June 3 – 10 a.m. at riverside – 10:30 a.m. at church – “Down by the Riverside” – Peter Holmes & Green Sanctuary Team

We’re taking church outdoors! Our main worship service on June 3 will be at 10 a.m. down by the riverside at Katfish Katy’s campground on the Katy Trail in Huntsdale. For details and directions to the campground, see the article immediately above.

Those who cannot or would prefer not join us at the campground can hear the same worship content at the church at 10:30 a.m.

In case of inclement weather, the main worship service will be moved to the church.

The services at the riverside and at church will be multi-generational. Children are invited and welcome to attend, and there will be no religious education classes on June 3.

Sunday, June 10 – 10:30 a.m. – Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson

Join one of UUCC’s favorite guest preachers for a rousing and thought-provoking service. The Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson is pastor of Dawson Journeys Ministry and is a teacher of philosophy and religion at several area colleges.

Sunday, June 17 – 10:30 a.m. – “We Are Always, and Never, Enough” – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Join us for Rev. Molly’s return to the pulpit after her parental leave to explore our place in solitude and in community.

Sunday, June 24 – Special Time – 9 a.m. – “Live from General Assembly”

More than 3,000 UUs from all around the country will worship together at 9 a.m. June 24 just down I-70 in Kansas City at the annual UUA General Assembly. A strong delegation of our congregation will be there, and you can join them virtually as we will be live-streaming the service at UUCC. Please note the service is at 9 a.m. If you are interested in making the journey for G.A. Sunday morning worship in person, you can find more information at

Back to Contents

June Forum Schedule

The UU Forum, an adult discussion group open to the public, meets on Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m. Conversation and light refreshments are offered along with the discussion. Forum coordinator: Bill Clark, 573-474-4510.

  • June 3 – Heather Carver, chair of the MU Theater Department, will outline the performance schedule for summer repertory and the coming 2018-19 season.
  • June 10 – David Webber will join us to discuss a timely topic – to be announced.
  • June 17 – Wayne Anderson will present a bit of World War II history you probably don’t know.
  • June 24 – Edge Wade, one of the nation’s premier birders, will discuss her journey to log her 800th species in North America.

Back to Contents

Faith-to-Action nominations requested for 2018-2019

The UUCC Social Action Team is requesting nominations for Faith-to-Action Collection recipients for the 2018-2019 church year. The team is accepting nominations immediately and will review applications over the summer.

Nominations can be made here on the UUCC website – on a paper form available as a PDF on the same web page or from the church administrator. If the paper form is used, put the completed form in the Social Action Team mailbox at the church or mail it to Social Action Team, Unitarian Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201.

Selection Criteria: Nominees may be local, regional, national, or international organizations, programs or agencies that align with our church mission and vision. Preference will be given to local or regional efforts with which our congregation has an ongoing working relationship. For non-local efforts, preference will be given to those with an established connection to the UUA, UUSC or a regional UU ministry.

Back to Contents

Festival of Sharing planning begins

Our Festival of Sharing Team is beginning to plan for our church’s 2018 Festival of Sharing activities. This year 30 different denominations in Missouri are participating.

The team’s goal is to promote projects and programs that can make a difference in the lives of people in need. The Festival of Sharing booklet available in the Greeting Area provides information about 25 different projects you may enjoy participating in. You can also download a PDF copy of the booklet.

The team began meeting to plan activities on May 27. Future meetings generally will be held after the worship service and will be announced in advance.

For more information, or if you need a ride, call coordinator Marian Hjelmfelt at 573-449-5118 or 573-999-2265 or send her an email.

Back to Contents

President’s Perspective – Thank you for the privilege of serving

By Todd Iveson, 2017-18 President

This will be my last newsletter column as president. It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve our congregation in this capacity and to share some of my thoughts about us in these articles. I will miss this but am excited to pass the baton to President-Elect Barbara Rupp, who I am confident will be a wonderful president.

In this final message, I want to encourage all of us to seek out ways we can each fulfill our ministries through service in this church. Many say that you get out of any endeavor what you put into it. I believe from my own experience that this is particularly true for participation in this congregation.

It is okay to be a religious consumer, dropping in on Sunday mornings for worship and youth religious education but with little other involvement in church life. We are here for you and welcome you when you grace our door. But I believe you are missing out on so much more that we have to offer you.

Through the many opportunities I have had to serve over the years, I have developed an understanding of the multitude of ways in which we serve our congregation and our community. I also have a much greater appreciation of the contributions each of you makes that help make this all possible. As a result, I can also appreciate how my small contributions combine with all of yours. I am very proud of what we do together.

I want to put in a specific plug for service on our Board of Trustees. I believe firmly that our board and congregation are best served by having as diverse a board as possible, including age, race, gender, physical ability, theology and skills. There is no single “ideal” board member. If you are willing to listen, ask questions and speak out, you are a good candidate for the board. It is a job, but being on the board is the best way to learn about the many facets that make up UUCC. You won’t regret it if you choose to serve.

Thank you all for the privilege of serving as your president. In particular, I want to thank my fellow board members who have been so forgiving of my many shortcomings – Jenny, Sam, Patty, Peter, Mark, Gretchen, Mindy and Barbara – and also our wonderful staff members, who keep it all going for the rest of us – Rev. Molly, Kathie (we’ll miss you!), Jamila, Marques, Arun and April.

P.S. This isn’t goodbye. I still have another year on the board and plan to remain active in our congregation for many years to come. See you all around!

Back to Contents

Your Leave Team – Email

Contact the team for administrative issues during Rev. Molly’s parental leave.

Jeremy Duke Allie Gassman Jeanne Murphy Maria Oropallo

Back to Contents

UUCC Stream Team – Hinkson Creek monitoring – Saturday, June 16

Come and join the UUCC Stream Team in monitoring the health of Hinkson Creek – meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16.

We will be catching and counting macro-invertebrates (like the mayfly shown here) that live in the creek. We will also be measuring stream flow, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrate content, pH level, conductivity and turbidity.

All ages are welcome to come and do some serious but enjoyable messing around in a creek together and to discover what lives there. Wear shoes that allow you to wade in the creek

If you have questions, contact Peter Holmes at 573-239-7789 or by email.

Back to Contents

Programs and Events

For newcomers – “Getting to Know UU” – Sunday, June 3

On the first Sunday each month, newcomers are invited to gather in the minister’s office after worship for about a half hour to learn more about UUCC. Childcare will be provided.

The June 3 session is scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

UU Book Discussion – Friday, June 8

The UU Book Discussion Group will meet at 5 p.m. June 8 at ABC Chinese Cuisine, 3510 I-70 Dr. S.E. Bring a book you have read to discuss briefly.

If you have questions, call Pam Springsteel at 573-445-0642.

Green Sanctuary camping skills class – Saturday, June 9

Want to learn how to put up a tent? Come to the Green Sanctuary Team‘s camping skills class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9 at the church. All ages are welcome.

Men’s Group – Saturdays, June 9, 23 and 30

The UUCC Men’s Group meets on the second, fourth, and fifth Saturdays of each month at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. The group is open to all men. There are no fees and no reservations are necessary.

The agenda is an open discussion of whatever is on the minds of those in attendance – and breakfast!

For more information contact Wiley Miller at 573-864-8574 or by email.

Conversations, Etc. – Wednesday, June 13

Conversations, Etc. Women’s Group will meet at noon June 13 at the church. Bring a brown bag lunch and a snack to share if you wish.

If you have questions, call Pam Springsteel at 573-445-0642.

Kaleidoscope Pagan gathering – Saturday, June 16

Join Kaleidoscope as the group celebrates the summer Solstice. The longest day and the shortest night are here. The Sun stands in his glory and full strength. Glory with him, this bringer of warmth, light, and hope.

Gather with us at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 16 (changed from the previously announced date of June 23) at the church. We will join in ritual, followed by a potluck and friendship. All are welcome, no matter what your personal path.

For more information, inquire by email.

Loaves and Fishes – Sunday, June 17

UUCC provides the evening meal at Loaves and Fishes on the third Sunday each month – Sunday, June 17 this month.

Please sign up here to prepare food for this meal and/or to help set up, serve, and clean up.

Serving meals at Loaves and Fishes is a project of our Social Action Team.

If you have questions, email Diane Suhler.

Grieving Circle

If you or someone you know would like to meet in a facilitated Grieving Circle, or you wish to be in a place where you can freely and safely express your grief, please contact Rev. Molly, Maria Oropallo, Barbara Carter or Greg Bergman.

All of our contact information is in the church directory on our website, or you can send us an email.

Mindfulness Meditation

Join us for Mindfulness Meditation at 9:30 a.m. Sundays in the Centering Room or at the Fire Circle.

Meditators of all levels of experience are welcome. This is mainly silent meditation with some instruction, if needed, and with brief selected readings from eminent teachers.

For more information, contact contact Peter Holmes at 573-239-7789 or by email.

Hook & Needle Group

Take a break and join our church’s Hook & Needle Group. Yarn, patterns and tutoring are available. The group meets at the church on Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

For more information, call Marian Hjelmfelt at 573-449-5118.

Back to Contents


DRE’s June Message

This month, the theme of our church is the importance of making time for solitude in creating a community. I think all of us who have children appreciate the glorious solitude when your child finally lets you use the bathroom alone. It is incredibly important for us parents to find time for solitude, and also for our children. Particularly for those of us who are more introverted, solitude is necessary and important self-care for being part of a family, a church community, and a greater world community. It is important to take time to reconnect with ourselves, to find quiet to hear our inner voice, and to regroup and renew our energy. How can you help your child learn to appreciate solitude?

  • Take the whole family to a place of natural beauty or interest, and spread out, each finding a spot alone to draw a picture or record what you see. Come back to share your individual discoveries. Try switching to each others’ spots before comparing notes to see what you saw that was the same and what you saw that was different.
  • Teach your child about journaling. Remind them that a journal doesn’t have to be a record of everything you did in a day. It can be one thing that you are grateful for, or one emotion that you felt. Even a very young child can choose a color that a day felt like and draw with that color in a journal.
  • Find time to just lie in the grass in the backyard, or floating on a raft in a pool or wherever you feel peacefully alone.

Jamila Batchelder, Director of Religious Education

Camping skills workshop and Thoreau (3rd-5th grade) campout – Saturday, June 9

Our Green Sanctuary Team will host two events at UUCC on June 9.

At 10 a.m. the team will be teaching a camping skills workshop where we will learn to pitch a tent. This workshop is offered to people of all ages in the church.

At 5 p.m. children of the Thoreau Class and their parents are invited to a campout in the church backyard. Dinner and s’mores will be made on the fire, flashlight games will be played, campfire songs will be sung, and then we will spend the night in tents. Children need to be accompanied by a parent for this event.

Please RSVP by June 2 by email if you plan to come to the campout.

June R.E. Schedule – 10:30 a.m. Sundays

  • June 3: Down by the River Intergenerational Service (10 a.m. at riverside, 10:30 a.m. at church)
  • June 10: First day of summer R.E. classes
  • June 17: Summer R.E. classes
  • June 24: Summer R.E. classes

Year-end R.E. recap

We have come to the end of our regular R.E. year, and what a year it has been! So many great moments: All of the visits to religious communities in our Neighboring Faiths program; learning about the history and ideas of UUs in Thoreau; so many treks of discovery around the church grounds with Schweitzer; incredible art projects and teddy bear adventures in Potter; storytelling and creativity in Spirit Play; the YRUU youth conference and lay-led service; projects like the bake sale for ArchCity Defenders and our disabilities workshop in Service Sunday; so much zaniness in Junior Youth; our first ever K-2 OWL class. None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers. I hope you all know just how much you are loved and appreciated by this community.

Thank you, R.E. volunteers!

Spirit Play
Kathie Bergman
Lisa Fritsche
Megan Gore
Corinne Mann
Tracey Milarsky
April Rodeghero
Eva Vlachynsky

Potter Class
Barbara Carter
Jennifer Conforti
Matt Conforti
Jeremy Duke
Kevin Fritsche
Michelle Kelly
Josh McPherson
Mindy McPherson
Michela Skelton

Schweitzer Class
Jenny Bossaller
Crystal Buffaloe
Jack Draper
Andrew Eick
James Gordon
Julie Ladehoff

Thoreau Class
Kara Braudis
Jack Draper
Jeremy Milarsky
Ruth Milledge
Connie Ordway
Maria Oropallo
Sara Shipley Hiles
Lindsey Smith

Scott Denson
Anja Eick
Anna Lingo
Paul Litton
Gretchen Maune
Becky Scott
Caya Tanski-French

Service Sunday
Amie Burling
Tim Dickerson
Suzanne Griffin
Leanne Reese
Gena Scott

YRUU High School Youth Group
Cortney Bouse
Joe Collins
Erica Majumder
Kinjal Majumder

Junior Youth
Patty Daus
Lisa Fritsche
Qhyrrae Michaelieu

K-2nd Grade OWL
Amie Burling
Pack Matthews

Summer R.E.
Heather Carver
Jack Draper
James Gordon
Anna Lingo
Melissa McConnell
Qhyrrae Michaelieu
Tracey Milarsky
Erin Regneri
Lindsey Smith
Amber Sparks

Nursery Staff
Ben Abernathy
Ellie Abernathy
Maya Bell
Madison Bellamy
Tricia Carver-Horner
Eva Ewing
Naomi Garson
Leila Gassmann
Megan Hayday

Nursery CPR Training
Sarah Smith

R.E. Team
Amie Burling
Andrew Eick
Anja Eick
Corinne Mann
Tracey Milarsky
Becky Scott
Lindsey Smith

R.E. Volunteers Appreciation Luncheon – Noon Saturday, June 16

All R.E. Volunteers are invited to a luncheon at noon June 16 to celebrate the year in R.E. Children are welcome and childcare will be provided.

Please RSVP by June 9 by email.


Summer R.E.

The regular R.E. year has ended, but we still have R.E. all summer. We have only one worship service in the summer at 10:30 a.m., and we will have two classes at the same time – one for younger children and one for older children.

Both classes will focus on our relationship with the earth and particularly with our own church grounds. We will spend as much time outside as we can.

We need summer R.E. volunteers! Email Jamila Batchelder if you would like to get involved.

Back to Contents

Our Staff

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Minister
On parental leave from March 25 to June 17, 2018
Office Hours after June 17:
Tuesdays 1-4 p.m. at church
Wednesdays 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Kaldi’s Coffee Downtown
By appointment (including evenings and weekends)

Kathie Bergman, Administrator
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Telephone: 573-442-5764

Jamila Batchelder, Director of Religious Education
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10 a.m.-noon and by appointment

Marques Ruff, Interim Music Director
Rehearsals on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

April Rodeghero, Sunday Morning Assistant

Back to Contents

2017-2018 Board of Trustees

Todd Iveson, President
Barbara Rupp, President-Elect
Patty Daus, Treasurer
Sam Buffaloe, Secretary
Mark Johnson
Peter Holmes
Jenny Bossaller
Gretchen Maune
Mindy McPherson

Back to Contents

Searchlight Publication Information

The Searchlight is published monthly by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Missouri.

Submissions: By email or postal mail to Church Administrator. The deadline for submissions is noon on the third Monday of each month for the following month’s edition.

Back to Contents